TEHRAN, September 11 (Itar-Tass) —— Russia came to assist Iran with construction of the Bushehr nuclear power plant whereas the others refused to do so, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Islamic Republic Ali Akbar Salehi said during a joint news conference with Russia’s Minister of Energy Sergei Shmatko. The news conference followed a meeting of the Russia-Iran intergovernmental commission on trade and economic cooperation, which was scheduled on the eve of putting operational the first energy block of the Bushehr nuclear power plant, which has been constructed by Russia’s Atomstoiexport Company.
“I am happy that tomorrow we shall witness how the Bushehr nuclear power plant will go operational,” he said on Sunday. “This is an event, which is watched closely throughout the world.”
“Russia has come to assist Iran with construction of the plant whereas the Western countries, which we had addressed, refused to assist us in finalising the construction,” he continued. “This is not to be forgotten, and it will not.”
“Iran has been waiting for tomorrow’s event for 35 years, and it will be a big holiday for us,” Salehi said. Before December of past year he chaired Iran’s nuclear organisation. He called the Bushehr nuclear power plant as “unique project, which does not have analogues in the world.” It “united technologies of the East and West.”
He referred to the fact that the plant’s construction, which started in 19970s, was begun by a West German contractor, and major works were made by Russian specialists.
On Sunday, co-chairs of the intergovernmental commission Sergei Shmatko and Ali Akbar Salehi signed a protocol of its ninth meeting, which took place in Tehran on September 10-11. The document states basic directions of trade and economic cooperation of the two countries.
“The sides have agreed to continue cooperation in peaceful use of nuclear energy in various technical and research directions with participation of IAEA,” the document’s part, devoted to nuclear energy, reads.